by April Bayer
Junior Mark Schmidt recently had his writing published in the online literary journal “Digging Through the Fat” as a part of their weekly poetry feature.
Schmidt’s poem, “Partisan Politics,” comments on America’s current political climate using imagery and metaphor and was published on Nov. 8, exactly one year after voting for the 2016 election took place.
“(In the poem) I was trying to remind people that there’s different ways of thinking about these things, especially with politics,” Schmidt said. “The entire election was just so strange to me because it seemed like we should have learned something from it, but we just got even more divided, more angry as a result. That poem was (meant) as a wake-up call…trying to shake people’s shoulders.”
Schmidt was inspired to submit his poetry to various journals after he was required to submit some of his work for Associate Professor of English Dr. Gabriel Haley’s Poetry Writing class. Schmidt continued writing poetry after the class ended and searched for websites that accepted work by first-time writers, like Submittable. He also took time to research what sort of poetry the journals might be interested in accepting before sending out dozens of submissions.
Schmidt is an English and Computer Science major and is not entirely sure if he would like to pursue writing as a career, but says he would like to learn more about publishing in the future. He has recently applied for a volunteer editing position through the website that published his work. His poetry has also been published by Concordia’s Sigma Tau Delta chapter in their annual literary journal, Potpourri.
“I’m just trying to aim in that direction,” Schmidt said. “If (publishing) is a possibility, I’d love to chase after it, but I’m trying to keep my options open.”
Schmidt encourages other Concordia students who might be interested in getting their writing published to give it a try.
“Keep reading, keep writing, keep that cycle going, and try to get as much feedback as you can,” Schmidt said. “You have to know that when you’re going into submitting things that you’re not going to get accepted at 99 percent of the places, so you have to take the rejections and criticism and learn from it.”
Schmidt’s poem can be found at https://diggingthroughthefat.com/poetry-no-26-mark-schmidt/.